Users go wild for BBM for Android, says BlackBerry

The pent-up demand for BBM among Android users seems to be immense. The company says an unauthorized pre-release copy of the program posted online drew in 1.1 million users in the first 8 hours, causing network problems. Too good to be true?

BlackBerry apologized Saturday for issues in the BlackBerry Messenger network. That was the bad news. The good news was that the "issues" were caused, the company says, by unexpected load from 1.1 million users of unauthorized copy of the BlackBerry for Android app. The company will pause the global rollout of BBM for iOS and Android for the time being.

It's an odd development, as the problem and shutdown were on the same day that BBM for Android was released to the public. And even though the iOS version was not to be available until Sunday, September 22, the problem report on Saturday, September 21 says that iOS users who already have the app can continue to use it.

The unauthorized copy of the Android version has been blocked from the network. Users who want to know when the authorized copies are available can sign up at the BBM home page.

The outage for positive reasons may seem like convenient marketing to cover for a network problem, but BBM remains a major asset for BlackBerry, although generally outside of the US. The @BBM twitter feed, which appears only to have been active a few days, has over 200,000 followers.

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